Why we built the world's first team assistant

Vedran Ismaili


Before we jump into the why, I assume you are already trying to figure out what a team assistant is, so let's begin there.

For us, a team assistant is a spider in the web, a tool that helps managers keep track of what is important for their specific team, in a simple, personal and intelligent way. With Henry we set out to build just that, a new way for managers to stay one step ahead, enabling them to see how their team is doing and how work is progressing, effortlessly. We want to remove all the complexity of gathering team feedback by assisting managers in the prep work and by doing so making room for more meaningful conversations.

But does anyone really need a team assistant today?

Being a manager today is really hard

During our process of building Henry, we must have spoken with a hundred managers.

Most managers truly care about their team but struggle to find good ways of supporting, coaching and actually knowing how their team is doing. Most frequently managers struggle to carve out time in their busy schedules and it's not always easy to know even where to start.

We want to assist them in an intelligent way by doing the gathering and analyzing of team feedback, helping them to focus their efforts on what is truly important according to their own team. Our ambition has never been to replace the individual conversation, we just want to make the process smoother and more valuable for everyone in your team.

See, support and coach each team member

Most team members have a lot of ideas, input and a strong desire to share their thoughts, but few teams today have natural feedback loops to catch that input resulting in a lot of great input being lost along the way.

The ambition with Henry has always been to make the sharing of feedback delightful, to strengthen communication, but we also want to make it easier to hear and see each individual in your team. To truly be able to coach your team members managers need a good overview of individual well-being and work progress. Within Henry all that is available making it simple to truly coach your team members to success.

Follow up and create change

The process of following-up and gathering input has for a long time been unnecessarily complex and time-consuming. We waste tremendous amounts of time in meetings, sending an email and trying to summarize input, only to loose it a few days later in some folder somewhere.

With Henry that is taken care of and streamlined. Tell Henry what you want to keep track and Henry will make sure to remember, gather the information and ping you when it's collected and analyzed. Enabling you to save time and focus your energy where it's needed. I also use Henry to gather information about project progress, absence reports, to hear how workloads are divided within the team and much more.

Henry is still very much in the making but we hope that it will be a service that truly helps your entire team, a tool that saves you time and which make work a bit more pleasant. Each one of us behind Henry is deeply passionate about team development and we want to make it easier for managers to be the managers they want to be, assisting them in their quest to build happy, productive and engaged teams.

Henry is free for teams up to 10 users and works perfectly with Slack so give it a try and let us know what you think.